A pacifist message: Iranian activists spray-painted the words "No to war" in Hebrew, Farsi and English in four different sites in the city of Shiraz earlier this week.
The graffiti were found on a bus station, a wall surrounding a school as well as on the walls of two buildings in the city. They are the result of a collaboration between Iranian and Israeli activists taking part in the Tehran-Haifa-Tel-Aviv project also known as TeHTel.
"These are social-political activists who strive to change the status in Iran," says Yoni Shadmi, a Haifa University researcher and editor of the TeHTel website.
"We are in contact with many Iranian activists who want to get in touch with Israelis and initiate joint political projects."
'No to war' written in Hebrew, English and Farsi (Photo: TeHTel)
Shadmi noted that while the project was completely collaborative, the risk was taken solely by the Iranians who spray-painted the slogans in the middle of the night." He further added, "For us, these images symbolize the courage of the men and women of Iran and the Middle East's potential to be a place of affinity and intimacy."
Iranians 'took huge risk' (Photo: TeHTel)
Shadmi hopes the project will graduate into a long-term program involving both Iranians and Israelis. "Whatever our governments decide to do, us citizens can still join forces across borders," he said. "Joint grassroots activity in the Middle Eastern presents new opportunities for change in the region."
The project's managers claim that TeHTel is the most popular Israeli website in Iran. It is sponsored by the Haifa University and draws thousands of visitors every day despite being occasionally blocked. The website has also been hacked by Iranians in the past.
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